2021 Kia EV6 is all-new electric flagship with 310-mile range
15 March 2021 - autocar
Performance-focussed crossover spearheads Kia's new EV family with dramatic look and ultra-fast charging
The new EV6 is Kia’s first bespoke production electric car and pairs a radical new design with unprecedented levels of performance for the brand.
Revealed ahead of its official full debut later this month, the EV6 will spearhead a wave of new-era electric cars from Kia. Each will be badged EV followed by a number corresponding to its size. So the EV6 crossover is a mid-sized car, which leaves room below for compact SUVs, hatchbacks and saloons, and for larger SUVs at the top of the range. Kia will launch a further six bespoke EVs by 2027.
Full technical specifications are yet to be confirmed, but the EV6 shares its E-GMP platform with the recently revealed Hyundai Ioniq 5. This means it will have 800V hardware for charging speeds of up to 220kW and it should charge from 10% to 80% capacity in 18 minutes.
The E-GMP platform is compatible with rear- and all-wheel-drive layouts and can accommodate a 72.6kWh battery pack for a range of around 310 miles – which the EV6 is expected to use.
In terms of performance, the EV6 will far outpace Kia’s existing electric models, the e-Niro and Soul EV. The 0-62mph sprint will take around 5.0sec and a top speed of 120mph is likely.
The EV6 will be positioned similarly to Hyundai’s upcoming Ioniq 6 performance saloon, so a focus on dynamic ability is expected, too.
The new model’s design represents a radical departure for Kia, pioneering a new ‘Opposites United’ styling ethos that leans on “contrasting combinations of sharp stylistic elements and sculptural shapes”. Future models will take similarly dramatic design cues, with key tenets of the new philosophy including ‘daring’ colour schemes, simple lines and “bold, everchanging surfaces”.
The influence of Kia’s 2019 Imagine concept is clear. Although the overall silhouette has evolved to give a lower, less overtly SUV-oriented stance, there’s a new interpretation of Kia’s trademark ‘tiger nose’ grille and an obvious emphasis on aerodynamic optimisation.
The distinctive headlights and wraparound light bar at the rear will display a new sequential light pattern.
The flat floor of the E-GMP platform and a new minimalist interior design ethos mean the EV6’s cabin is more spacious than those of Kia’s existing EVs. A sloping dashboard and slim, lightweight seat designs are used to minimise incursion into the occupants’ space. As with its Hyundai sibling, the EV6 uses recycled plastics throughout the interior.
The Imagine concept’s 21-screen dashboard display has not been carried over. The dashboard is dominated by an expansive and “immersive” one-piece curved display in place of a conventional infotainment screen and separate gauge cluster, while a haptic control panel is used for operating the climate control.
Prices and UK trim details for the EV6 will be made available closer to its market launch later this year, but a substantial premium over the top-end £45,000 Ioniq 5 is likely, given its premium and performance emphasis.